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March 7, 2002

Other Illnesses

Question from Devon, England:

My eight year old child, who has had type�1 diabetes for four years, has a cyst on one of her kidneys (discovered by scan) which is about two inches in diameter, and six months on, is still there. Also, she has just tested positive for coeliac disease, although we are told this is not an immediate problem. What might the repercussions of this be in the short and long term?


Celiac disease should probably be treated aggressively with a gluten free diet since there can be associated osteopenia, delayed puberty, growth problems as well as long term gut cancer risk if untreated. We also have seen some severe cases of hypoglycemia in untreated celiac disease that probably can be avoided as well with gluten free treatment.

I don’t know the association with any kidney cysts. In fact, I do not know of any association of kidney cysts and diabetes either, so I suspect they are all unrelated phenomena. I would suggest your speaking with a kidney specialist to see if anything ought to be done about the cysts and to make sure that there is no associated change in kidney function, hypertension, need for surgery, etc.